Knowing how special my 2013 bighorn sheep hunt was to be, I did everything I could to stack my odds for success in unit S9. I employed the expertise of a guide, I got into the best sheep-shape possible, I practiced shooting frequently, assembled high-quality equipment, and utilized the services and advice of experts and officers at Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s sheep and goat hunting seminar in late June.
The adventure started the day before the season opened with a 4-hour backpack hike to camp at nearly 11,000 feet at the foot of a basin frequented by sheep. We spotted a few ewes and lambs while glassing, but did not see any rams.
Shortly after sun-up on opening morning we spotted two legal rams on an east-facing slope. We climbed, out of sight of the rams, to gain altitude and hopefully a shooting advantage. However, a strong wind to our back likely gave us away and the rams disappeared over the top of the mountain. We decided to descend the mountain so as not to spook the rams, one of which was particularly big.
With my good 2013 fortune in hand, as we descended, these two rams crossed over the ridge and went down a drainage heading in our direction. This time the wind was in our favor and cover was adequate to close the gap to less than 300 yards for a once-in-a-lifetime, one-shot harvest.
The ram proved to be even bigger than we hoped; a full-curl, heavy-horned, heavy-broomed bighorn, green scoring at 174 3/8 inches.
I appreciate everyone’s help in fulfilling this dream, including CPW staff and officer Zach Holder who was unquestionably excited for me as we were completing the mandatory sheep check.